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50 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Anyone who hates this movie
If you hate this movie then you are obviously of the pixie caps and tights brigade who hate to see Shakespeare removed from the 'proper setting'. In my opinion there are very very few flaws in this movie. The pure and unrepentant villainy of McKellen's Richard is phenomenal, and who can forget the utter hilarity of the final scene. All I'll say is: "I'm sittin on top, top...
Published on 6 Aug 2007 by A. R. Farmer

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK but you can't get rid of the German
This is, of course, one of the most innovative interpretations of Richard III and I can't add anything to the other reviews about the performance.

BUT!!!!! this is a German DVD and it does play in English, only at the expense of having German subtitles which can't be switched off. I find this very distracting. Currently, there doesn't seem to be any other...
Published on 29 Oct 2010 by David Bailey


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perspective enhanced..., 14 Oct 2002
By 
lambiel fabien (Soissons, Aisne France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Richard III [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
This play adaptation is an amazing vision ; setting Richard III into a third reich perspective is indeed both obvious and never-thought-about. It gives a new perspective to the text and shows the extent to which Shakespeare may have had a glance of the inner workings of dictatorship, manipulation, and the workings of inward-born yet outward-bound hatred. The parallel between Gloucester and Hitler is so obvious once seen that one wonders how it can be possible that no one ever thought about it before... Along the same line as Othelle set during the American Civil War, this film is part of a new trend successfully dusting Shakespeare, if ever dust could settle onto such a smooth surface...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very slick and stylish, but it does help to know your Shakespeare, 2 Jun 2007
By 
Petrolhead (Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Richard III [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Ian McKellen, supported by a cast of just about every British actor available, does a brilliant job of bringing this Shakespeare play into the modern world.

At school I was forced to watch Laurence Olivier's ludricrously thespian attempt to put Richard III on screen and was completely turned off by his unnatural, hissing, snarling, crescendoing speeches. This production by contrast is very slick and easy to watch and appreciate if you vaguely remember the plot. It still uses the original text, so the ears might need a bit of tuning in, but the great acting and modern setting make it pretty easy to follow. One tip: It might help to have a list of the characters printed out (they should stick one in the box) because it is rather assumed you know who is who and who is related to whom.

There is a very powerful visual theme to the film. The locations add up to an I-Spy of London architecture, including the Foreign Office, Shell-Mex House, Tate Modern and Battersea power station (and did I also spot Senate House and the Barbican tunnel?) It has a strong 1930s flavour, with white tie parties and military uniforms that get more and more Nazi as Richard's hold on power tightens. Maggie Smith also makes a great exit, unusual in Shakespeare, in a rather elegant aeroplane.

However, the desire to preserve the 1930s look, together with the mere 100-minute running time, does mean that some bits of storyline have fallen out and Richard's rise seems at times a little too speedy and unexplained, so Shakespeare purists will have to have their pinch of salt with them.

If you like to have good "special features" on a DVD, you will be disappointed: there is a trailer and a very feeble "featurette", which is basically a 5-minute extended trailer with a couple of snippets from cast and crew.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping adaptation, 16 Mar 2000
By A Customer
I normally don't like Shakespear when its moved out of its normal! timeframe but this adaptation is so exact in catching a mood that it is as good as Oliviers version. The matching of Richard and an almost Hitleresque characterisation is brilliant and yet frightening. What film was designed for!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skillfully adapted, 2 Oct 2003
Ian McKellen apparently wrote this screenplay after playing Richard for several months with the RSC - and it shows. He has exactly the right tone when he directs speeches to the audience, and he has even contrived to capture some of Richard's underlying admiration of bravery and heroism with a perfect David Niven / Hollywood 'tash!
The setting of the film in the 1930s is a clever concept, and manages to put Richard's rise to power through violence in a more understandable light as people today know more of the rise of fascism than the Wars of the Roses.
There are a few weak scenes here and there, but on the whole this is Shakespeare as it ought to be - relevant to the contemporary audience whilst respectful to the bard's original work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Richard III [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Been looking for this for ages, lent the VHS to a colleague who didn't return it. Special because myself and husband worked on the film.
The film is amazing - visually unusual and brings Shakespeare into modern life. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard III in 1930's, 12 Mar 2013
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Well acted and cleverly adapted version of Shakespeare's classic tale of the corruption of power. Ian McKellen at his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard III Ian McKellen, 30 Jan 2013
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FABULOUS - the Nazi theme gave this dramatic play just the right touch of evil by Richard. Loved the solving of "A horse, my horse - a Kingdom for a horse". However, I didn't hear "The dirty dog is dead" did I miss it?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Shakespeare, 8 Jan 2013
This is the definitive Richard 111 with a brilliant cast and direction.

You won't find a better interpretation than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard the Third, 4 Jun 2012
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Very offputting by the fact that it had German subtitles all the way through. The film itself is a very good production.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fun making this, 9 Jan 2012
I have been trying to get a copy on DVD for a while, as a serving soldier in London we were asked to be extras for this movie, coming off the back of bits in The Bill, Emmerdale and anything else we could ''star'' in it was refreshing to actually learn Shakespeare and enjoy it and enjoy being in it. what you dont see as a viewer is the hard work that these actors put in, Jim Broadbent had a moment of help for everyone but the one thing that shone through was the pure professionalism and this is truly portrayed in Sir Ian's acting. yes im Bias, but if you have a young teen who shrugs when asked about the Bard this is the film to show them.
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Richard III [DVD] [1996]
Richard III [DVD] [1996] by Richard Loncraine (DVD - 2000)
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